Watch live: WHO holds briefing as scientists urge amended guidance

Watch live: WHO holds briefing as scientists urge amended guidance

The World Health Organization is expected to hold a briefing Tuesday as scientists urge the agency and other public health organizations to amend their guidelines to reflect the risk that the coronavirus can be airborne.

The WHO has said the coronavirus is only confirmed to be airborne during aerosol-generating medical procedures performed in health care settings, such as intubation. It says the virus primarily spreads through larger respiratory droplets, which don't travel as far, which is why maintaining social distancing of about 6 feet has been recommended.

How to watch the World Health Organization's briefing today

  • What: World Health Organization holds a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic 

  • Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

  • Time: 11 a.m. ET 

  • Online stream: Watch live on CBSN – in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device 

But an open letter supported by 239 scientists says airborne transmission of COVID-19 is a "real risk." 

"Hand washing and social distancing are appropriate, but in our view, insufficient to provide protection from virus-carrying respiratory microdroplets released into the air by infected people," states the letter, entitled "It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19."  

The letter was issued as the United States sees a spike in coronavirus cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Monday the country is still "knee-deep" in the first wave of the pandemic.

Fourth Of July Weekend In Florida Sees Some Beaches Open, Some Closed, As Coronavirus Cases Spike A hostess provides hand sanitizer to patrons entering a restaurant on July 3, 2020 in the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach, Florida. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

–Contributing: Nicole Brown and AFP